Mediterranean Antipasti Platter
A shared platter is a nice relaxed way to feed a few people as a starter before dinner, or have as nibbles with a drink.
Everything can be prepared up to a few days in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to serve. Garlic roasted this way makes a soft, smooth, slightly sticky garlicky spread (yum!). A good quality New Zealand extra-virgin olive oil is essential for a good antipasti platter. I love the dipwith goats cheese, but feta works just as well. The capsicum and eggplant would also be great cooked on the barbecue for that charred flavour.
roasted garlic, capsicum and eggplant
- garlic bulbs 2 large, halved horizontally
- red capsicums 2 large
- eggplant 1, sliced 0.5-1cm thick
- olive oil 3 tablespoons
- garlic 1-2 cloves, finely minced
- rosemary 1 tablespoon finely chopped
Herbed cheese spread
- soft goats cheese or cows feta 70g (at room temperature)
- natural unsweetened yoghurt 2 tablespoons
- thyme or rosemary 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped
- fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons chopped
Sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade
- black kalamata olives ¾ cup pitted, roughly chopped
- sun-dried tomatoes ½ cup, chopped
- extra-virgin olive oil 3-4 tablespoons (I use Village Press)
- artichokes ½ jar (in brine or oil), drained (optional)
- ripe vine tomatoes 6 small, sliced
- salami or prosciutto 8-10 slices (optional)
- fresh sourdough or ciabatta bread 8-12 slices
- basil leaves 1 handful
Preheat oven to 220 degC/430 Fahrenheit.
- First roast capsicums and garlic. Drizzle garlic bulb halves with olive oil, season with salt and wrap individually in tinfoil. Roast whole capsicums and garlic parcels for 20-25 minutes until capsicums are charred and blistered, and garlic is soft and slightly caramelised. Remove from oven and allow capsicums to cool before peeling off their blackened skins (they should come off quite easily). Slice capsicum flesh, discarding seeds, and set aside. Unwrap tinfoil and set roast garlic aside.
- Lower oven temperature to 180 degC/355 Fahrenheit.
- Arrange eggplant slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Mix olive oil with garlic and rosemary and liberally brush onto eggplant slices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Stack eggplant slices and set aside.
- To make the herb goats cheese spread, mash goats cheese with a fork and mix together well with remaining ingredients.
- To make the sundried tomato and olive tapenade, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until just combined. If you don’t have a food processor, just finely chop sundried tomatoes and olives and mix together with extra virgin olive oil.
- When ready to serve, arrange everything (including the artichokes, salami/prosciutto, tomatoes, bread and basil) on a platter or wooden board and serve as a shared platter for everyone to help themselves.